Next week’s Lowestoft Seafront Air
Festival was given an exciting boost this week with the announcement
of late additions to the flying programme from the French and
American Air Forces.
Organisers of the Lowestoft airshow, which is being held on Thursday July 23rd & Friday July 24th
thrilled to hear this week that the French Air Force is sending two
Alpha Jets while the United States Air Force has now added a Sikorsky
helicopter to its already announced contribution of a Boeing KC-135
These amazing aircraft are in addition to the
F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter from the Royal Netherlands Air Force
and they bring a strong international presence to an already
action-packed and spectacular line-up.
It is the first time in 13 years that
the French Air Force has taken part in the Lowestoft event. The Alpha
Jet is a twin-engine, two-seat subsonic trainer developed between
France and Germany as a replacement for Magisters and G91s in their
respective Air Forces.
The French version is used as an
advanced jet trainer for combat aircrews while the German Alpha Jet
was used primarily as a strike aircraft for close air support for
The Sikorsky HH60G Pave Hawk helicopter
is used by the USAF to conduct day or night combat search and rescue
operations into hostile environments to rescue downed aircrew or
other isolated personnel during war.
It is also used in peacetime operations
for civil search and rescue, emergency evacuation, disaster relief,
international aid, counter-drug activities and NASA space shuttle
With a crew of four, the twin-engined
helicopter has a maximum speed of 224 mph and can fly at a maximum
height of 14,000 ft. It can carry up to 12 troops and other cargo.
With the famous Red Arrows and the
world’s only airworthy Avro Vulcan bomber headlining the popular
event another huge crowd is expected.
With other airshows around the country
reporting attendances up by 10 to 15 per cent, Lowestoft’s regular
display commentator Tim Callaway believes that last year’s record
attendance of an estimated 440,000 could well be beaten.
“In the past the Lowestoft Air
Festival has always been regarded as a family fun day out,” said Mr
Callaway, “but this year’s display programme is attracting great
interest from real air enthusiasts and there is a real buzz about
Apart from those already mentioned, the
programme also includes historic Second World War aircraft like the
Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane and some examples of this country’s
earliest and unique jets such as the Gloster Meteor, the Venom and
Firm favourites with spectators at
Lowestoft, the Blades aerobatic team of four former Red Arrows pilots
and the daredevil Team Guinot wingwalkers are also performing again.
With more than four hours of flying
action and 22 displays scheduled for both days, together with a
seafront full of ground attractions, there will be something for
everyone at the 13 Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival.
And all organisers are asking for is a
voluntary £2 donation to help meet the £300,000 cost of
the event and to ensure that the Air Festival goes ahead in 2010.
The flying display programme starts at
12.35pm on Thursday and at 11.30am on Friday. Ground attractions will
be open from 10am and the Fireworks Spectacular on Thursday is
planned to start at 9.30pm.